3.679 more on NeXT (99)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Wed, 1 Nov 89 20:39:39 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 679. Wednesday, 1 Nov 1989.

(1) Date: Wed, 1 Nov 89 00:27 EST (36 lines)
Subject: NeXT and Humanists

(2) Date: Wed, 01 Nov 89 07:31:37 EST (16 lines)
From: David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: 3.675 more on NeXT (77)

(3) Date: 1 November 1989 (24 lines)
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: NeXT

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 89 00:27 EST
Subject: NeXT and Humanists

A brief addendum to Malcolm Brown's note on the NeXT: One piece
of software that should be mentioned that IS availible NOW is
Framemaker, a complete desktop publishing package. It may interest
Humanists to know that Frame Tech. Corp. intends to support SGML
is a future release, so this should add some additional appeal to
an already appealing product. Not to mention that Frame is selling
Framemaker at a 50% discount for those in education.

Still, it remains true that at present there isn't a lot of software
available, beyond the very considerable amount that comes bundled with
the machine (and by the way, Digital Librarian may not be all that one
hopes for in a textual analysis package, but for what it is, its great.
It gives you immediate access to virtually anything that you choose to
put on-line, and from within running applications, when and where you
need it.)

On the other hand, I think it's unreasonable to expect too much too
soon. After all, the NeXT has only been available with its release
OS for about a month! I think the Cube has a bright future as a
scholarly workstation, but it will take some time. If I have a pet
peeve at present, it's the one Malcolm mentioned: no foreign diacritics.
This is something that should be remedied SOONER rather than later. But
all in all, I'm finding the NeXT very useful--and very enjoyable to use--
just as it comes out of the box. And if you need the diacritcs, for now
there is always TeX, which comes standard with the system software,
and supplied with a super previewer to boot!

David Carpenter
St. Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------21----
Date: Wed, 01 Nov 89 07:31:37 EST
From: David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: 3.675 more on NeXT (77)

We should not underestimate the power of the NeXT for humanists.
Remember that the NeXT is a Unix box, and as such, contains an OS
especially designed to process text. In the NeXT you will find commands
like SED, SORT, TR, FIND, GREP, and the amazing AWK. Furthermore, since
the NeXT allows you to design a GUI for a program using the mouse, it
would take under two hours to design a nice, simple interface for these
commands, tied into the text editor, etc. The user could simply click
on buttons without even knowing what Unix commands are going on

David Megginson, Centre for Medieval Studies, Toronto
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 1 November 1989
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: NeXT

The NeXT is a fine thing, no question. I'd love to have one. But aren't
we mistaking technological superiority for communal usefulness? Several
people have pointed out that the real computer is the "network" of
people who share a common system. The MS-DOS system is now primitive as
an isolated machine, indeed so is the Mac, but because so many people
are using these things they are very powerful indeed as elements in a
greater whole.

Chicken and egg, I know. What breaks the vicious circle is low price.
Who can afford a NeXT? One despairs, since what made MS-DOS systems so
cheap was IBM's publishing the specifications, yes? The manufacturers of
clones have made personal computing possible for many of us.

(My job, as I conceive it, is to stir the pot as well as to make sure it
doesn't boil over and put out the fire.)

Yours, Willard McCarty